Saturday, August 29

Pr0n.... I mean: Achievement Points.

A response in Tobold's post Skipping Pillars about the complete voiced over dialogue in SW:TOR.
I won't skip the scenes if I'm rewarded for watching them. Watch the whole cutscene give me "x" amount of xp. If not I just want to move on to the next marker.

Combat is a pillar to a combat game as story telling was to Myst.
I can't find it now but I shared a comic a while back. it was a simple two panel thing.
The first panel said:
Total Immersion Virtual Reality Porn will not destroy the World.
The second panel said:
Total Immersion Virtual Reality Porn Achievement Points will.
I don't really have to mention that Achievement Points can easily be replaced with Experience Points in that statement. We're slowly becoming incapable of enjoying gameplay, or stories, without instant gratification in the form of a meaningless empty insta-reward system...

FYI: I do acknowledge that complete voice over isn't all that. Especially if you need to redo a conversation. I do hope Bioware finally conceives of the 'summary' version of conversations. Something both Jade Empire and Mass Effect could have used.


  1. Oh, how sad! Is this really what the gaming community is coming too? Does the average player really only play for xp? The future is looking bleaker every day.

    But I do think MMOs are not the ideal games for story telling. MMOs are there for its community to make their own stories and the game s just a framework to play it in. If the developer is forcing the player into a too tight story it looses the MMO-ness. That is in my view the biggest flaw of AOC. And SWTOR might be making that same mistake. If my avatar has a few predefined responses to an NPC it is not me anymore, but some cool game character. The game can still be great, but it is lost its MMO-ness.

  2. "If my avatar has a few predefined responses to an NPC it is not me anymore,"

    Compared to the single response (besides refusing to take the Quest) that every other MMO offers it's a bit odd that more RP options stiffle your sense of self. I do recognize the problem. It's a trade off between an enrichment of the experience which takes away some options. As long as you stay within the limited options available, the experience is enriched. As it was with Age of Conan. As I recall you were very happy with the way the tutorial island's story went. Personally I've found that I can put a reasonable ammount of my own personality into most Bioware dialogues as well. I did have an occasional issue with getting Dark Side Points for picking an option which to me felt 'good' but was apparently 'bad'. The system works best with clear cut choices. Not much room for grey area's. Sadly Bioware chickened out in that regard as I already stated. They should have had the balls to go for Neutrals.
    I still wish you'd play a Bioware game, preferably Dragonage, before making up your mind about their dialogue system.

    There is a tension field between Storytelling which has more strictures and free form RP which has none and as a result is barely done by 99% of MMORPG players. In essence, (Bioware's) Storytelling is the hand-holding guided tour to RP.
    I'm reminded again of Barttle's splendid suggestion that MMO's should be more guided-tour/amusemant park ride at the start and thin out / branch out into more sandbox gameplay at the 'end'.